LAS VEGAS: Bank of America, the financial services giant, is placing greater emphasis on “scaled engagement”, as well as reducing its spend on “walled gardens”, as it seeks to find the most effective way to engage consumers.

Lou Paskalis, Bank of America’s SVP/Customer Engagement and Media Investment, discussed this subject during a session at CES 2018, an event held by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

“For so long, this business was about scale,” Paskalis said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Bank of America prioritizes “scaled engagement”.)

But the company has begun to alter its focus in this area. “It’s now about ‘scaled engagement’: We’d rather have 100,000 engaged people than ten million exposed people,” Paskalis said.

“We’re really finding that the scaled engagement, generally speaking, works better for us when it’s participatory – when it’s really something people want, versus [something] they need to endure.”

Another motivation for the new approach, though, reflects the shortcomings that are displayed by numerous platforms in the online arena.

More specifically, these “walled gardens” have afforded certain digital operators tight control over user data, limited third-party campaign measurement, and prevented brands from fusing their information with insights from other sources.

For Paskalis, this disconnect between brands and services undermines the “fundamental dynamic” that has shaped the relationship between advertisers and media owners for several decades.

“There are two rules: Go where the audience is [and] verify everything. And, for the first time in my career, you can’t achieve both of those things anymore,” he told the Las Vegas assembly.

While these platforms still have a role in building brands, Paskalis suggested that marketers should pressure them to adopt more advertiser-friendly policies. Brand custodians can also, of course, spend their dollars elsewhere.

“If you’re in a position where you can take a long-term view of your customer, and you can measure all the interactions, you can start to migrate away from these platforms,” he said.

“In our case, we’re trying to draw down, by a fixed number every year, the amount of spend that we do on these platforms, and look in other places and spaces, and get smart about it.”

Sourced from WARC